The Competition

Eight rural singles have shown off their farm skills during a week long competition, finishing up at Fieldays. Contestants had the opportunity to mingle and charm fans, both at Fieldays and various evening functions during the week. Plus, they competed in daily challenges designed to test skills both on and off the farm, as they competed for the title of Fieldays Rural Catch of the Year.

The winner walked away with an impressive prize pool worth over $25,000 thanks to our generous sponsors – Farmlands, Suzuki, Swanndri, STIHL and Skellerup, as well as the coveted ‘Golden Gumboot’ trophy.

2019 Golden Gumboot Winner

Northland boy Lewis Nichols has taken out the 2019 Fieldays Rural Catch top honours with Hamilton girl Charlotte Leach winning the hearts of the public, judges and sponsors to be crowned People’s Choice.

Lewis is a heavy machinery operator for agricultural contracting company Bradfields based in Otorohanga and came into the competition looking for someone who could listen to a few tractor yarns and has come away with the experience of a lifetime.

2019 People's Choice Winner

People’s choice award winner Charlotte Leach a research technician for Dairy NZ, impressed the public, judges and sponsors – all of whom she thanked for making the experience such a great one.

You’ll normally find Charlotte partaking in an outdoor adventure, searching for an adrenaline rush or relaxing spending time with family.

Originally from an alpaca farm, she spent her first 17 years living and breathing all things fibre and alpaca spit with her passion now sitting in the dairy industry where she’s driven to learn and absorb everything about cows.

Schedule of events

Wednesday 12 June

09:00 – Village Green – Introduction to the 2019 Rural Catch Finalists
10:00 – Sites – M36 Taragate don’t fence me in Challenge
11:00 – Innovation Centre – Innovations Challenge
12:00 – STIHL Challenge
14:00 – Village Green – Health & Wellbeing Challenge
15:45 – Site PC51 – Nail Your Numbers with Xero

Thursday 13 June

08:30 – Village Green – Fieldays Sponsors Amazing Race Kick Off
08:45 – Village Green – Suzuki ATV Skills Challenge
10:30 – Sites F103 -F109 – Farmlands Challenge
10:30 – Village Green – Fieldays Sponsors Amazing Race Pit Stop
16:00 – Village Green – Fieldays Sponsors Amazing Race Finale

Friday 14 June

13:30 – Village Green – Rural Catch Prize Giving

2019 Contestants

Gordon Mead

Age: 29
Hometown: Taumarunui

He was the lucky Wildcard winner from The Edge, Gordon Mead, a Musterer from Taumarunui, loves to socialise, has an interest in deer farming, and is passionate about mental health awareness.

Describe your ideal date: Gordon’s ideal date would be a fancy dinner restaurant followed by a good dance at a country club.

Kerry Taylor

Age: 22
Hometown: Wanganui

Contestant number two Kerry Taylor, a shepherdess from Wanganui, describes herself and an easy-going, positive friendly girls who loves a laugh and doesn’t take things to seriously. Kerry is passionate about stock welfare, she’s after someone with a good sense of humour who’s easy on the eye.

Describe your ideal date: Her ideal date would be doing something outdoors like a hike or a horse ride.

Lewis Nichols

Age: 21
Hometown: Otorohanga

Lewis is a Heavy Machinery Operator for Bradfields in Otorohanga, who found his destiny driving tractors and passionate about sustainably cropping and mental health in the rural sector. Lewis is after a country girl that knows what it takes to be on the land.

Describe your ideal date: His ideal date would involve a nice meal and a good beer at a quiet restaurant with plenty of good yarns.

Charlotte Leach

Age: 21
Hometown: Hamilton

Charlotte Leach of Hamilton is a Dairy NZ Research Technician who loves to learn and is passionate about reducing environmental impact and improving animal’s welfare. Charlotte is after a respectful, mature block who loves adventure and having a good laugh.

Describe your ideal date: Her idea date would be a sunset with a rural view and setting down to chat under the stars.

Ash Foley

Age: 27
Hometown: Christchurch

An Arable Senior Assessor  from Christchurch, Ash loves being outdoors, enjoys being involved in her Waimak Young Farmers club and feels the need to educate society on the importance of farming and the connection to where food comes from. 

Describe your ideal date: For her ideal date, Ash would like the guy to take the lead and show or teach her about something they’re passionate about.

Sam Harvey

Age: 26
Hometown: Christchurch

Sam Harvey is an ICP Manager for AsureQuality based in Christchurch who describes himself as a sporty farmer who is always on the go. Sam loves the freedom of rural life and is passionate about lessening the disconnection between the rural and urban communities.

Describe your ideal date: Sam’s idea of a good date would involve activity of some sort – biking, swimming, running or boxing.

Aleisha Broomfield

Age: 29
Hometown: Morrinsville

Sh was the lucky Farmlands Wildcard, Aleisha Broomfield, a 50/50 sharemilker based in Morrinsville, loves a good banter and is after someone kind and caring who’s driven to achieve and values family. Aleisha is passionate about showing the positives of the farming industry.

Describe your ideal date: Her ideal date would be something fun outdoors followed by a cold beer.

Trent Hill

Age: 27
Hometown: Taupo

Trent Hill is a Senior Shepherd based in Taupo who describes himself as a typical kiwi bloke who enjoys hunting, fishing and his work with sheep and beef farming. Trent’s after someone he can have a laugh with.

Describe your ideal date: His ideal  date would involve something casual like a few beers at the pub.